The city of Kirovohrad, formerly Yelizavetgrad, some 300 km south-east of Kiev, is the birthplace of two composers, one Polish and the other Ukrainian: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937; see Szymanowski) and Yuly Sergeyevich Meytus (1903-97). Meytus was born at Dzerzhynsky vulytsya 65 in a red-brick house, now a music school and museum – though not to Meytus – across the street from the synagogue his family attended. He became a concert pianist and much honoured composer of some 15 operas, many of them on patriotic themes, written between 1918 and 1997, as well as film music, symphonic suites, piano music and folksong arrangements. He died in Kiev, where he lived after the end of World War II.

As early as 1974, museum displays devoted to Meytus, to which he generously contributed, were installed in a recital room at Kirovohrad Music School no.2. At the beginning of the new century the exhibition of photographs, manuscripts, editions, recordings, letters, newspaper articles, posters and personal effects, including his Meerschaum pipe and ashtray, glasses, multicolour biro and blotter, was moved to a longer-term home in the local museum.


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